Desk Chairs: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Desk ChairsI suppose I could just blame it on my approaching summer vacation but I’m finding myself getting more and more restless sitting at my computer all day. But I’m not the only one.  For those of us who work sitting down the whole day, our desk chair can make a big difference no matter the season.

The Problems

The wrong desk chair or sitting down too long in any chair can lead to numerous health problems, including back pains, bad posture, arm and leg stress and pressure to the back muscles and spine. These can come from having a chair without proper support for the lower back or even just having your chair adjusted to the wrong height for your desk and body size. Of course, being uncomfortable won’t help you to be productive and get work done either.

What to Look For

First of all, make sure that the chair is adjusted to your height. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor in front of you without being tucked in under the chair.  If the chair does not conform to the natural contours of your back when you sit up straight, look for extra cushioning that can help to keep your back upright. Chair backs that are straight often encourage people to slouch, weakening muscles and eventually leading to back pain.

The Other Options

Recently, more and more offices have started including options other than standard desk chairs. A lot of these encourage you to move and let you strengthen your muscles while you work. The simplest of these solutions is a standing desk. There are some sophisticated designs on the market that let you raise and lower your desk throughout the day but if you work from home then simply moving your laptop from your desk to a high kitchen counter will do the trick. Many people also swear by exercise balls. Replacing your swivel chair with one force you to work out your muscles throughout the day and keep perfect posture to maintain balance. Also look into kneeling chairs and saddle seats.

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